Charlene S. Bowden Founder/President
Charlene has always been interested in the literary and performing arts. It started in high school serving on the year book staff her junior and senior year. During this time, she also discovered she enjoyed writing short stories. It’s no surprise that later on in life she would have published work.
A lover of the performing arts, Charlene enjoys attending live performances in music, dance and theatre. Again it was of no surprise that, after assisting blues artist Big Robert T market and promote his DVD, that she would begin providing artist management services, which led to the formation of her first company, CSB Management Group.
In December of 2007, Charlene enlarged the scope of services for CSB Management Group to include co-producing events. Her first event was with Hilda Willis under the brand of Living Your Art; Hope for the Holidays (a fundraiser for the Performing Arts Program for Youth, originally founded by Jane Fonda). Over the next several years, she continued to work with Living Your Art on the following productions: the Atlanta Premiere of Mad At Miles: A Black Woman’s Guide to Truth, the Ossie Davis Endowment for Education Launch in Atlanta, The Way Out in Santa Monica, CA, “Open Door: A Live Listening Performance with India.Arie” in Atlanta and Los Angeles and Breathe: The Nicole Kelly Story in Atlanta and New York.
Later she was offered a platform to host and produce an internet based radio show giving CSB’s artists an opportunity to have their music in regular rotation on the radio. As a result, the It’s Just Us Radio Show began broadcasting in June 2008.
Hilda Willis Creative Director/Co-Producer
Ms. Willis, Producer, Director, Literary and Performing Artist, has been in the arts and entertainment business for over 35 years. She has performed and directed on some of the most well-known stages in New York and Regional Theatres across the US.
Having co-written and directed two musicals, Ms. Willis’ work has been produced on several Off-Broadway theatres. Other credits include the 2015 Atlanta Premier of Baptism by Fire, a new gospel musical, and Spunk for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company. A few of her favorite projects in the past few years are the Atlanta Premier of Mad At Miles: A Black Woman’s Guide to Truth, an adaptation by Donna B. Bradby of Pearl Cleage’s book of the same title, at 7 Stages Theatre; director and lighting designer for the India.Arie and Idan Raichel Open Door Concert, The Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, Israel; writer/director of a short play about Afeni Shakur titled, Afeni Shakur: In Her Defense; writer/director of Breathe: The Nicole Kelly Story; and, co-writer of Conversations with our Mothers, with Sandra Hughes, a new play with music, which features both women; The Way Out (Promenade Playhouse, Santa Monica, CA), and as producing director for a celebrity reading of the play, The People Of Clarendon County, for the Ossie Davis Endowment for Education, which was presented in New York, Chicago, Illinois, and Atlanta, Georgia. She has also produced and directed for several national televised specials.
Willis initially moved from New York to Atlanta at the request of Jane Fonda, who garnered her help to evaluate the staff and programming of the Performing Arts Program for Youth (PAPY). She became the lead consultant for the PAPY program and worked with Harvard University’s Project Zero in a two-year program evaluation. Ms. Willis then went on to design an artist/teacher-training model and was later hired as Executive/Artistic Director, where she wrote the curriculum guide for the middle and high school level. Under the leadership of Ms. Willis, PAPY became a performing arts school that offered full artistic training and development tools for youth and youth-serving institutions and acquired it’s 501(c)(3) and 107(c)(2) status. Willis lives her art and has dedicated her life to reaching and teaching all communities through the arts. Her arts and education methodology has been recognized by educators and a variety of youth-serving organizations and has afforded her the opportunity to take part in conversations that address the needs of instituting more Arts-Based Learning. Willis is the founder and producing artistic director for Living Your Art.